exohousewarming: (Default)
[personal profile] exohousewarming
Prompt number : 118
Title : It’s Never Too Late
Pairing : Yifan/Yixing
Rating : PG-13
Warning : (if any)
Word count : 10,446
Summary: Yifan and Yixing need to fall apart to realize how much they need to fall back together.
Author note : Thank you very much to my betas H and V for looking after this fic even after a short notice. Thank you also to the mods for being so cool and encouraging while I was writing! :)



The office has a welcoming ambiance to it like what Yixing has expected. There is a tall bookshelf on the right side, a wide mahogany table on the center by the window with a very comfortable-looking swivel chair behind it. Yixing is sitting on the cozy brown corduroy couch across the room, waiting for the session to start. He eyes the paintings and framed achievements lining the wall, indicating the credentials of the person owning the room, to tell Yixing they are in good hands and that they made the right decision.

"Good evening Mr. Zhang." The middle-aged man greets once he enters the room. The diplomas hanging on the wall says that he might be in his early 50s. His hair is graying but he has the warmest smile and radiates a fatherly aura.

Yixing stands up from the couch to greet back, bowing and flashing his famous dimpled smile.

The older man bows back in response. He puts his things on top of the table then pulls out a file from the pile on the side of it. He smiles again and tells his client to sit as he settles himself on a stool in front of Yixing.

"Am I early for our schedule?" The man asks, looking at his folder to check.

Yixing glances at his wristwatch. It reads six in the evening and they are just right on time. However, they cannot start if they are missing one person.

"Can we wait a little bit? Maybe he got caught in the rush hour traffic." Yixing says. He wants to believe that he will not be stood up but, over the years - especially the last two - he has learned not to expect.

Right on cue, Yifan walks in the office, bowing and blurting apologies to the old man. He is wearing his usual dark suit, his hair gelled up to perfection to clearly showcase his handsome face. He is carrying his messenger bag over his shoulder to complete his businessman look. He takes his place beside Yixing, leaving a few inches to separate them. Not too close for their shoulders to rub but not too far for another person to sit in between them.

Yifan does not acknowledge his presence and it makes Yixing's heart constrict a bit, though it is not something he is not used to. Once the two of them are settled, the old man in front of them starts their session.

"Good evening to you two. My name is Huang Lei and I am, well, your counselor." The man introduces himself, giggling at his own joke. "Since we are all here now, can you introduce yourselves first?"

Finally, Yifan looks at Yixing, gesturing that he can go first.

"Hi, I am Yixing." Yixing starts. To be honest, he does not know how he will describe himself. What are the things he should say that are important to this session? He chews his lips while he contemplates. Huang Lei senses his anxiety so urges him that he can start with his age and his job. "I am 34 years old and I work as a studio photographer."

Huang Lei beams and says, "Thank you, Yixing." Then, turns his attention to the other man.

"Hello, my name is Yifan." As usual, the taller is confident. Not an ounce of nervousness is evident in his voice. "I am 35 and I work as an associate lawyer in a firm."

The counselor asks a few more questions to the couple that Yixing willingly answers. Yifan does not interrupt, only speaking when a query is directed at him. He lets Yixing do most of the talking.

Yixing shares that the two of them have been married for ten years now and have two kids, Shixun who is 13 and Renjun who is 4 years old respectively. More basic questions follow to make the two men comfortable sharing personal information to a stranger. They loosen up after a while as the counselor shows interests and enthusiasm while probing the couple to disclose more things about them. After all, this is something they both agreed to do so they have to go through it until the end without holding back.

The harder questions follow after half an hour of casual conversation. "What happened? Why are we here?" Huang Lei finally asks. It is a subtle way of asking what truly went wrong in their relationship.

Yifan lowers his head upon hearing the question. It is an indication for Yixing to be the one to speak. There is a slight congestion in his chest because this is the first time that they will put into words what they have been going through for a couple of years now.

Yes, years. Yixing thinks it's been two years since things started to change.

He is not sure how it happened. Just one day, they had a fight about a little thing and then it stemmed to more fights and misunderstandings. One night, Yixing stopped sleeping in their shared bedroom and relocated to Renjun's. They stopped kissing, holding each other, having sex. It does not feel like they are husbands anymore. It feels more like they are two men living in a house and taking care of two kids.

They are doing fine co-existing. They do not fight that much anymore. Along with the fights and shouting, Yixing feels the romance slipped away with it.

Yixing tells the incident where he overheard Shixun and his friend, Zitao (Luhan and Minseok's son) talking while they were studying in the living room. He was about to enter the room, carrying the snack he had prepared for them, when he heard Shixun asking his friend about his parents. His son sounded quite disappointed when he found out that Zitao's parents were so cool and happy and that the only complain of the boy was that his parents were always being gross when it came to showing their affection. With a forlorn expression, Shixun had told Zitao that he had not seen his parents talk for quite some time already and that they look different compared to how his uncle Minseok and uncle Luhan were. It was the time Yixing realized he had to do something to fix whatever problem they have for the sake of their kids.

Huang Lei only nods after hearing the story, rubbing his chin with his thumb and index fingers as he thinks about what he will say next. "What do you think about it, Yifan?" He asks.

Yifan looks up from his lap. "I think it is the proper thing to do." He answers right away.

"But is it what you really want? Do you want to make your marriage work again?"

Yixing waits for the answer. When he had mustered all his courage to talk to Yifan about it, his husband was hesitant. He did not believe that they needed marriage counseling or another person to help them piece their relationship back together. He acknowledged that they were having problems, yes, but he initially wanted to fix it on their own. Eventually, he agreed when their supposed talk ended up in another argument.

"Yes." Yifan admits.

Huang Lei claps and then closes his file. "Great! Our time is almost over." He looks up at the clock on the wall. It is five minutes before seven in the evening. Their one hour session is coming to an end. "For tonight, try something physical. Not sex. Maybe try holding hands on your way home."

The counselor dismisses them after that.


-oOo-



The two of them leave the office quickly, thinking that they have to fetch their kids at their friends’ house so they can all eat dinner together. But knowing Luhan, he has already fed the kids by now.

They do not talk to each other while they are waiting for the lift to come. Yixing is busy with his cellphone, informing Luhan that they are on their way, and Yifan is reading whatever is written on the wall above the elevator control. When did they became awkward like this? It feels like their ten years of marriage plus another five when they were still dating mean nothing.

They file in instantly once the elevator door opens. There are about a dozen people inside going down from their offices hence the two of them have to squeeze in. Their shoulders are right against each other and Yixing can smell the distinct cologne that Yifan uses, minty and cool. The taller clutches the strap of his messenger bag slinging on his left shoulder to keep it from falling. And then all of a sudden, in the middle of a group of people, Yixing feels a big hand cup his.

The owner of the hand does not look at him, eyes still fixed on the decreasing red numbers on top of his head that indicates the floors. Yixing glances up at their intertwined hands then at his husband who does not have a change in expression. Yixing keeps his eyes on him until they get off the lift and are walking out of the building. He remembers that Yifan did not bring their car today so they have to ride public transport going to Luhan and Minseok's house.

They stop at the bus stop, hands still holding each other and Yixing wishes Yifan will say something. The lawyer does while they wait for the bus.

"Are you uncomfortable?" He asks, not looking at him, instead, looking at the busy street in front of them.

"I am fine." Yixing answers.

Yifan finally meets his eyes, an image of a boy fresh from high school he fell in love with flashes before him in an instant. Now, the boy is all grown up, carrying his matured self gracefully as he lives his dreams. Despite the few lines on his forehead brought by the challenges they encountered throughout the years, he still takes Yixing's breath away with his piercing stare and gentle gestures.

"Should we go get the kids?" Yifan inquires and, for the first time tonight, he smiles. "They might be waiting for us."

Yixing only nods.

After a couple minutes of standing awkwardly beside each other, they get in the bus together with dozens of other people. They are standing as all seats are occupied but Yixing is fine with it. He prefers it. He feels more secure while leaning on his husband, holding his hand tightly.


-oOo-



Just like any morning, Yixing wakes up early to prepare the kids' breakfasts and lunch boxes for school. Renjun and Shixun both ride on a school bus going to their schools but Yixing fetches Renjun in the afternoon and takes the child with him to work. Shixun is already big enough to handle himself and go home on his own since he also has basketball practice after his classes.

It's been two weeks since their first marriage counseling session. Things have not gotten back to normal but the way they treat each other has significantly improved. Yifan starts holding his hand at random instances now. The taller is shy at times but Yixing encourages by not pulling away. When the kids are not looking, when Yixing is in the kitchen or when they are eating, Yifan will grab his hand to hold.

For today, Yixing considers making three boxes. It's been awhile since Yifan took a home-cooked lunch to work as he sometimes has court appearances and bringing food would be a hassle for him. He also does not like eating cold meals. When he was still new and only tasked to do office job, he had always asked Yixing to prepare something for him that he can just re-heat in the office pantry.

Even with his fear of being rejected, Yixing just goes for it and takes out another container from the top kitchen cabinet. If Yifan did not take it, he would just eat it in the studio.

Yifan is assigned to bathe Renjun every morning so when the youngest is done, the two kids come to the dining table to eat while Yifan is still in the room getting dressed for the day.

"Baba, can I stay over Zitao's tonight?" Shixun asks as he chews on his pancake.

"Why?" Yixing asks back. He is not against this since it is normal that his son sleeps over at Luhan and Minseok's place when they do not have anything to do on weekends.

"He has a new game that I told him not to play without me."

"Can I come too?" Renjun butts in, raising his fork up in the air.

"No! It's only for big boys!" Shixun exclaims, then tones his voice down when he realizes that he’s getting a little emotional. Yifan does not like shouting while on the dining table.

Yixing has just finished packing three sets of lunches when Yifan enters the room. He is wearing his usual suit for work, hair slick with styling product to give him a sharp and dapper appearance. He looks like this every day but Yixing's heart skips a few beats when his husband smiles at him and greets him a good morning as he sits down on his place on the table.

"Shixun, ask your dad." Yixing tells his eldest child while he puts bacon on Yifan's plate.

"What is it?" Yifan inquires, looking at the boy.

Shixun repeats his question and explains why he is asking permission. Renjun says he wants to go and asks Yifan to scold his big brother because he is being mean to him again.

"It is okay." Yifan tells Shixun. "And Renjun, the game is only for big boys. You can play with your game here in the house."

Renjun pouts but he does not say anything anymore. Shixun smiles then proceeds to eat his food. Once the kids are done and Yifan has inhaled all of the food on his plate, the three file out of the house with Yixing following them. He is still holding onto the extra pack, hesitating to give it to his husband or not.

"Bye baba! See you later!" Renjun waves then reaches for Shixun's hand to hold. It has been his routine as his fathers told him to always stick to his brother when he is out of the house.

As soon as the kids are out of earshot, Yixing grabs Yifan's arm while the other puts on his shoes. "Here.”

Yifan looks at him then to the bag that is hovering on his face, asking through his eyes what it is.

"Lunch." Yixing bashfully answers. "Thought you would want some. But if you don't-"

Yifan grabs the bag without letting him finish his sentence then, without warning, kisses Yixing on the cheek. The younger gets startled by the sudden gesture, face red of embarrassment as he gets tongue-tied.

"See you later, Xing." Yifan smiles at him before he gets out the door. Renjun is already shouting for him to hurry up and open the car from the outside.

Yixing blinks, recollecting just what happened a few seconds ago. He does not realize there is a small smile that is plastered on his face. All he is aware of is the fluttering feeling inside his chest.


-oOo-



"How are you both?" Huang Lei asks on their third session, six weeks into their counseling. The couple comes diligently to their chosen time. It is not a weekly thing since Yifan is a very busy man. Nevertheless, they show up without fail every single appointment.

"I think we are getting better." Yifan admits.

Yixing is relieved that it is not only one who thinks so. There has been a big progress in the past month and he thanks Yifan for trying his best.

The counselor nods. He urges them to update about the changes that has occurred since the last time they went. Yixing let Yifan share that, despite the little uneasiness between them, they are attempting to communicate through simple words and body language.

It surprised Yixing when he got a message from Yifan one afternoon. They usually do not text anymore unless there is something important they have to tell each other. It was a random "I saw a magazine with your photo in it. It looks nice." but it made Yixing melt like a butter in a hot pan. After that, Yifan sent him text messages every day and he reciprocated it by sending photos of him and Renjun in the studio.

It kicked off from there and even if they are still awkward around each other and shy to show affection, they still make effort to overcome their differences. Likewise, Yifan makes it easy for Yixing to open himself again to him.

The taller is not naturally affectionate. Even when things were good between them, he was not one to shower Yixing with sweet words and actions. He is a type of person that prefers to show he cares by providing and being the person Yixing can depend on. The only time Yifan shows his love is when they are in the bedroom, the only place he thinks is appropriate for him to display how much he adores and appreciates Yixing. However, lately, Yifan wants to be around him as much as he can. Sometimes, Yifan will tell him he will do the dishes so that they can be alone in the kitchen while the children do their homework. Yifan will just pull Yixing towards him to hold him for a few seconds. Sometimes, when he bids Renjun good night, he will look at Yixing like he wants to say something but he cannot so he will just kiss him on the forehead. The simple touches and glances give Yixing tingling sensations similar to when they were young and starting out.

“That is so nice to hear.” Huang Lei smiles widely at the both of them, maybe liking how they are sitting closely now. There is no more gap that separates them, Yixing almost leaning against Yifan’s side.

For tonight, they talk about interests and connection, the things they enjoyed doing together when they were not married yet, the things they like doing individually. Huang Lei discusses how a common activity makes a couple’s bond stronger, how it keeps the connection intact as they make happy memories while doing the things they both love together.

Yixing likes to take photos. Yifan likes reading books. Yifan likes basketball. Yixing likes dancing.

When Yixing was not a professional photographer yet and only taking photos as a hobby, his usual subject was Yifan. He took photos of him while playing basketball with their friends on the neighborhood court, while reading a book in the library, while they were studying, while he was sleeping, while they were eating. He could almost have an exhibit solely of Yifan’s face with the amount of photos he had of him. The number gradually decreased when they both started working as they did not have that much time together in a day.

Before Yifan entered law school, he enjoyed playing basketball, almost got in the varsity team of their university. When he was not studying, he played ball. But he turned it down as he wanted to have a real career, something he could boast to his estranged father once he meet him again. He wanted to make his mother proud. He wanted to give his own family a stable future, the family he planned to have with Yixing. He also made sure to spend time with Yixing so he let him take his pictures whenever he could. Sometimes, he would indulge him and be his model for a shoot he would put in his portfolio. It was fun as Yixing would always tell him that the camera loved his face and if he would change his mind about being a lawyer, he could be a model if he wanted to with his tall stature and handsome features.

Thinking about it, they never did a particular thing together. Most couple travel together, go to the gym together, hike mountains together, or make music together.

“I cannot think of anything. Yixing likes taking photos of me. That is it.” Yifan answers with a shrug.

Huang Lei nods. “How about you, Yixing?”

Yifan is right. They have their own interests and they do not share a particular hobby but Yixing thinks there is something they have that keeps them strong. “We grow together.” Yixing says, and suddenly Yifan’s eyes are on him. Huang Lei smiles again and urges him to go on. “All these years, we accepted our differences and learned to live with it. We support each other and I think it is something important that we did together. Our relationship isn’t perfect right now that is why we are here but Yifan and I.. We are a team. I do not get basketball. He does not get photography. He can’t even dance to save his life and I won’t ever open a law book. But we all do it together and we love seeing each other happy just by knowing we have each other’s backs.”

A smile does not leave the counselor face all throughout the hour as he sees how Yifan never lets go of Yixing’s hand even after the session is over.


-oOo-



Huang Lei did not require them to do something after their session. He only asked them to elaborate what were the things the other did to make them feel they were supported. For Yixing, it was how Yifan never doubted his talents. Being a freelance photographer was tough for him as there were so many other more talented artists out there and Yixing did not have that much resources during that time. But Yifan never made him feel that it was an empty dream. He always praised his work and told him that one day, he would succeed. And he did.

Yifan never told the younger how much he appreciated when he would stay late with Yifan in the library while he was studying. Yixing usually would go straight there from his shoots and would just watch Yifan bury himself under hundreds of cases. There were times he would read some too because there were ample of interesting facts in each cases that he would eagerly narrate to Yifan on their way home. Yifan said it helped him memorize because he associate some of the cases to the streets they passed by or the food they were eating in the bus while Yixing talked animatedly about it.

Hearing it from Yifan for the first time sets a flicker of fire in Yixing. Suddenly, he feels warm all over and affection floods in his veins together with his blood. It is the same feeling whenever Yifan tells him he loves him on rare occasions and he welcomes the warmth with open arms together with hope that he and his husband are heading on the right track.

Yixing tucks the kids in bed and then heads to the kitchen to finish the dishes he left earlier after dinner. Renjun has slight fever so Yixing puts him to bed early, taking him hostage for a few minutes before the toddler is in deep sleep for him to get out of bed. He is wiping the surface of the sink when he senses that there is another person in the room and Yifan is not particularly quiet.

He turns around and sees Yifan bent down in front of the fridge. The taller takes out a can of beer before he closes the door.

"Can't sleep?" Yixing asks.

Yifan leans by the center island as he opens the beverage and takes two gulps of it. He is already wearing his singlet and sweat pants. "You could say that."

Yixing only hums and turns around to finish cleaning. He expects Yifan will be gone when he is done but his husband is still standing there when he takes off his apron after cleaning, a can of beer already empty on the counter. Yixing isn't sure what he will do or say.

"Renjun is asleep." Yifan breaks the silence, looking straight at him. It is not a question. He sounds like he is propositioning.

"I tucked him, yes." Yixing answers and he is getting flustered. He does not understand why his nerves are reacting like this.

The taller bites his lower lip, contemplating on what to say next. Yixing is waiting, anticipating even, on what his husband is going to tell him. The tension is palpable and he cannot deny it. Yixing badly wants to break it once and for all.

"Is it.. I mean, if you only want to.." Yifan stutters.

"What?"

Yixing is holding his breath.

"Do you want to sleep in our room tonight?" Yifan asks, not losing eye contact.

Yes, of course he wants to. He misses sleeping on that queen sized bed that they bought together after acquiring their house. It is one of the first furniture they got as they both believe that they will be fine without a stove or a fridge as long as they could cuddle in bed every night. He misses feeling Yifan beside him, his long limbs all over his body, lips on his nape and giving him soft kisses until he falls asleep. And now he can feel it all again tonight if he says yes.

He does not realize that it takes him long before he can answer. Yifan speaks as he moves from his spot to put the can in the trash. "It's okay if you are not yet ready. I am not going to force you." The taller smiles fondly but Yixing senses that he gets a bit sad and feels that he just got rejected even without hearing Yixing’s answer yet.

"Okay." Yixing says softly, almost like a whisper.

Yifan smiles again to show he is fine but his eyes reflect how his heart got broken into pieces. "Okay, good night."

"I will be there in a minute. I am just gonna check if all the doors are locked." Yixing says.

Yifan stops on his tracks. "What?"

"I am gonna sleep in our room. With you."

Yifan beams, all gums and teeth visible and Yixing misses this side of him too - the simple side of his husband that is easy to please.

The taller does not wait for him to their room. Instead, he is the one who checks the doors and when they are sure they are all locked, he grabs Yixing's hand and guides him to their room. Yixing does not know why they are in a hurry, Yifan taking big steps to get them into the master’s bedroom as quick as possible. Yixing allows himself to get dragged. The excitement he is feeling makes more sense than the way they are acting like someone might catch them tiptoeing in the hallway of their own home.

Right when they are about to lock the door, a crying sound of a four year-old wanting his father back to bed echoes. “Baba! Baba!”

Yixing sees how the taller’s face falls and mutters a silent curse. Yixing is upset as well. He wants this as much as Yifan does but their youngest son is sick and his well-being is their priority than their raging desires.

Yifan can only sigh, letting go of Yixing’s hand.

“I am sorry.” Yixing whispers as he tiptoes to give his husband a light peck on his cheeks before he goes back to Renjun’s room.


-oOo-



It is ten minutes past six in the evening on Yixing's wristwatch when he steps in the lift that will take him to the floor where their counselor’s office is located. He had no choice but to leave the studio later that he wished to because of the last minute shoot which Luhan had booked for him that he could not re-schedule. He hates running late for work or any meeting for that matter as he values every person’s time. Thus, he tried to literally fly to their appointment to no avail because of the heavy congestion of vehicles due to rush hour.

Yifan is already in the room with Huang Lei when he arrives. The two look up at him when he enters panting, his shirt sticking on his body because of sweat. It is not the most flattering moment of his life especially when his husband is still looking fresh like it is just the start of the day.

“I am sorry. I had a thing at work.” Yixing apologizes as he sits on the space beside Yifan. His husband immediately offers him a hanky to wipe the sweat dripping down his forehead which he appreciatively takes.

Huang Lei waves a hand at him. “It’s alright. We were just talking.”

The older man goes on the usual inquiry about what they did the past week and what they think about the last session they had which they do not hesitate to answer. Upon getting satisfied about the updates the husbands supplied, the counselor opens the topic for the day.

Sex.

As a couple, it is normal to engage in a sexual activity in a regular basis. It is one of the ways they can show their love and trust for each other. Yixing and Yifan had a very healthy sex life back when they were in college, full of desire and curiosity.

Yifan was not boy who took Yixing’s virginity. He had a boyfriend at a very young age of 15 and was the first person who taught him the basics of a sexual intercourse.

On the contrary, Yixing was Yifan’s first.

Most people do not believe them when they tell this story, that Yixing was the one who tainted Yifan’s innocence. Albeit his cool demeanor and masculine aura, Yifan was a very shy boy when he was a teenager. It is a fact that he is sporty and a popular student when he was in high school. He was confessed to too many times by both boys and girls but he is not a type to play around people he was not interested in. Blame it to his father who got his mother pregnant at seventeen and then left her and their child after getting scared of the responsibility.

When Yixing met Yifan, he did not think that the older was truly interested in him as he was not that responsive to Yixing’s advances when they see each in a class they shared. It took them months to finally date, when Yifan finally gained the courage to ask Yixing out. It was not difficult to love Yifan because he was really caring and sweet even if he only showed it when they were alone. Yixing fell hard too fast and the next thing he knew, he was getting married.

Aside from the fact that they were compatible, the amazing sex added to the thrill of their relationship. Every time they make love felt like a new experience each time. Of course, as a young couple who were exploring their bodies, the first few times were messy and unsatisfying. But as they grew and learned more, it became addictive and extremely pleasurable. They knew each other’s sweet spots and weaknesses. They knew where to kiss and touch. They knew each other’s bodies like it was part of their own.

When they were already married, they had accepted that it was normal to have less sex when Shixun came. They were busy taking care of the kid while focusing on their own careers. It was not an issue because they always made sure to still do it when they can. The passion was still there. Yixing never complained about the quantity. Quality was all that mattered.

Until the fall out happened.

For the last two years, their marriage was slowly crashing down. The sex and the romance was slipping, a gradual burn no one dared to put out. Now, they are trying to salvage the remaining pieces of them that they can put back together.

“How often do you have sex for the past year?” Huang Lei asks.

Yixing can feel his husband’s glance at him, believing it is him who knows the count and remembers the few times they had did it. “I do not know exactly.”

“You can give me a number.”

Yixing searches his mind for the proper response but his memory only gives him one answer. “Five times.”

It is not precise, Yixing knows it, but it is also very rare for them to share a room for the past two years. He is not even sure if they even did it in the room because he remembers the time when the kids were all out on a Saturday afternoon with Luhan and Minseok and Zitao and the two of them quickly did it by the kitchen counter. The other times were blurry for Yixing.

Yifan does not argue about Yixing’s answer. He is aware of it as well.

Huang Lei nods, considering what he will say next. He looks up at Yifan and asks, “How do you feel about it?”

“It’s disappointing.” He answers. “There were nights when I want to hold him but he wasn’t in the room with me. I was scared to ask Yixing because we rarely talk.”

“How about you, Yixing?”

Yixing stares at Yifan’s eyes before he answers. “I feel the same. It’s disappointing especially because I miss him all the time even if we are living in the same house. It know it’s just sex but it felt like I do not know him anymore.”

Yixing does not feel disappointed right now though. Not now that Yifan is being affectionate to him once again. They haven’t had sex but he is satisfied of how they are because of the counseling. He is suddenly reminded about the incident where Yifan had asked him to sleep in their room, a great leap from holding hands and only staring at each other. Even if it was interrupted by Renjun, Yixing can sense that his husband also longs for a physical contact. Huang Lei does not forbid them from having sex. If they want and are ready for it, they could do it. However, there is part in Yixing that is hesitant. He does not want to ruin the smooth progression of their relationship by giving in to their bodily needs. He only hopes Yifan feels the same.

“Because of the lack of sex, does anyone of you thought of resorting to asking other people?” Huang Lei continues.

“No.” Yixing answers straight away. He can never imagine himself with another man.

Yixing expects Yifan to say the same. But his husband is still silent, looking down on his clasped hands.

“Yifan?” Yixing is nervous.

“Yifan, now is the time for you to be honest. That is what we are here for.” Huang Lei encourages with a smile.

“I did.” He admits.

Yixing suddenly feels like collapsing. He is shaking. He wants to cry but he also does not want to make Yifan guilty when he is doing the right thing by telling the truth.

“What happened?” The counselor inquires.

“It was late last year. YIxing and I were fighting every day.” Yifans starts, his usual confident self is nowhere to be seen. He cannot face Yixing at this point. “I was doubting myself and our relationship. I was thinking that maybe the reason why we are fighting a lot was because I was not meant to be with a guy. So, when an attractive woman approached me at a bar, I flirted a little and we ended up in motel. I was a bit drunk but when she was about to kiss me, I thought about Yixing and Shixun and Renjun. I love them too much to make such a huge mistake.”

Yixing can sense the remorse in Yifan's voice. He knows his husband was regretting what he did, what he considered doing that time. Being a good defense attorney must be an irony. He is one of the best in their firm, has won hundreds of cases but when it comes to Yixing, he cannot hide the truth when provoked. Yixing does not know how he handles it on the stand, how he twists the truth in favor of his client. Right now, Yifan is not trying his best to defend himself.

What pains Yixing is the fact that he brought this to their relationship. He is the reason why Yifan doubts himself when, since the beginning, Yifan is sure about his preference and feelings. He never looked at another woman or man. He never lied and cheated. He never asked for anything other than Yixing's trust and love. Hence, knowing that he almost slept with another woman because he was not sure about his current marriage, turns everything around.

Huang Lei praises Yifan for the telling the truth and tells him that he is a strong man for fighting temptation and doing the right thing for his family. Yixing sees that it appeases Yifan a bit. The taller’s shoulders are not saggy unlike earlier while he was confessing and that the darkness of his expression has diminished.

"Yixing, do you have anything to say to Yifan?" Huang Lei turns to him.

He does not know what he will say at that moment. He is not sure if he is relieved, thankful, or upset. Frustrated with himself, he only shakes his head as his response.

Perhaps Huang Lei understands his apprehension so the older does not pry for any more words from him. Instead, he closes the session with an assignment.

"Try to talk to each other tonight." He says delicately. "Tell one another what you are sorry and thankful for."


-oOo-



The ride home is silent, Yifan not muttering a thing for the whole thirty minutes that they are on the road. Yixing sometimes forgets to breathe whenever Yifan lets out grunting noises and hushed profanities every red light they encounter. Yixing tries not mind, sitting motionless in the passenger seat and wishing that they will reach home soon. He is suffocating in the thick tension in the confined space of their family car.

It is only Yixing who gets down to get the kids from Luhan and Minseok's house. He does not ask when Yifan does not unbuckle his seatbelt, assuming that he wants to be alone for a while.

Once they reach their house, Yixing goes straight to the kitchen to prepare dinner. He hears Yifan asking the kids about their homework in the living room. Renjun is done with his as Yixing helped him do it that afternoon during his free time. On the other hand, Shixun tells his father about his Math and Chinese assignment.

The kids stays in the living room while the two of them eat. Yifan sits on his usual seat in the table in front of Yixing, still not uttering a single word. It feels like they are back from how they were before the counseling and it frustrated Yixing to the core. If he allows them to fall back to their horrible ways, all their efforts will just be put to waist. Yixing can’t let it happen. He has to do something.

“Do you like the food?” Yixing begins, breaking the silence. He figures, he should not go straight to the pressing issue right away. This is Yifan and Yifan needs coaxing for him to loosen up.

Yifan glances up at him, fear obvious in his expression. Yixing can see that he is nervous and uncertain of what to say but the taller tries to smile and nod. “Yes. Everything is delicious.” Yixing has only prepared simple fish and tofu with black beans paired with rice. Both of them hated any kinds of fish but they have learned to eat it to set an example to their children. Yifan eats vegetables well now, too.

“Thank you,” Yixing replies with a curt smile as well.

They eat in silence after that, not knowing what to say next and sensing that Yifan is not ready to talk yet. Yixing lets Yifan clean the dishes for tonight when he offers. He thinks Yifan needs this to think and reflect before they face each other later. They have to. Yixing will not let this day end without talking to his husband. It is one of the reason why they fell apart and he is not allowing them to go back to their old ways.

After tucking the kids to bed, Yixing comes back to the common area for the most awaited (and at the same time, dreaded) conversation. Yifan is sitting on the couch, probably looking forward to this talk too. Yixing sits beside him, putting a hand on his arm to pacify whatever is bugging him.

And then, without any warming whatsoever, Yifan sheds tears as if the entire world, and all of its beauty, has come to an end. Yixing was startled, not sure what to do or how to comfort Yifan. That is the first time in years that he sees Yifan cry in years. The last time was when they got married, while he was reciting his vows in front of the people who attended.

“I am sorry, Xing.” Yifan says, his voice cracking while his whole body trembles. He cannot speak properly with how hard he is sobbing. “I am really sorry.”

His husband’s cries echoes in the whole room, going straight through Yixing and pulling every bit of strings in his heart that is solely dedicated to the love of his life. It is not easy dealing with the fact that Yifan had thought of sleeping with another person because their marriage was going through a rough patch. Yixing will admit that he is disappointed and that he wants to be furious at his husband. He has all the right to be because they have vowed to be loyal and faithful to each other until death separates them. However, Yixing understands that Yifan is also human – a human being that naturally longs for a warm body to show him love and affection.

“You did not cheat on me, Yifan. There is nothing to be sorry about.” Yixing says softly, rubbing the back of the other make him feel and to let him know that this is not another time for them to be have another fight.

Yifan finally looks up, eyes red from crying and tears staining his cheeks up to his neck. Nevertheless, it is the face that Yixing will never get tired of looking at. It is the face he would love to see every morning when he wakes up for the rest of his life. The face that he would want to look at every night so that he could have a dream about it when he sleeps. It is that face that is he will fall in love with over and over again in every lifetime or parallel universe he will be in.

“You should be, Yixing.” Yifan insists.

Yixing cups his husband’s cheeks, a smile not leaving his face as he wipes the remaining tears on Yifan’s flawless cheeks. “I trust you, Yifan. I am gonna be honest. I lost faith in us but you proved that you still love me and that we are still the most important to you. The thing you did…. It’s all in the past. I know it’s a moment of weakness so from now on, let us be better for each other. Let us not make the same mistakes we did in the past.”

“I do not deserve you, Yixing.”

Yixing chuckles. “I am too good for you, I know.”

With that banter, Yifan beams a bit and it erases Yixing’s worry. People might say he is a fool for letting Yifan get away with it. It’s something only faith and love can explain. The taller pulls him in a hug, wrapping his long limbs on his small frame. Yixing loves the feeling of being encased in Yifan’s body. He feels safe. He feels loved. He feels nothing else matters as long they are together.

“I am sorry for not being the man I promised to be.” Yifan mutters while he buries his face on Yixing’s soft locks. It calms Yixing when he feels the taller’s breath on his scalp and the beating of his heart on his opposite chest. “I am sorry I let you down as a husband. But I promise to improve for you and Shixun and Renjun.”

Yixing only hums, taking in all Yifan’s words to his heart and locking it there. He does not doubt it. He is certain Yifan is going to keep his promise.

“I am thankful that you came into my life. Thank you for being the best husband. I can’t imagine my life without you.”

Yifan tightens his hold, almost squeezing Yixing. But the latter does not mind. He likes that he can be near his husband like this as he hear his reassuring words. Listening to how their heartbeats are in sync, chest rising and falling at the same time as they take in each other’s scents, perhaps this is enough. This is enough to prove that Yifan is still the same person he loved when he was 19, the same person he married when he was 24, and the same person he will spend his remaining life with.

Yixing is sorry about doubting Yifan but he is thankful that he is still here proving his suspicions wrong.

Yifan might think he is the lucky one. But Yixing is convinced that he is luckier.


-oOo-



Fridays nights are usually busy nights for Yixing. Weekends, to be very exact, as it is where people have free time on their hands to get their photos taken. If Yixing is not in an event, he is in the studio for a family shoot. Sometimes he begs off, preferring studio photo shoots of product campaigns or fashion pictorials which could be arranged on weekdays so he could spend more time with family on Saturdays and Sundays. When he cannot help it, and when the pay is really good, he would be on location.

Tonight, it's slow in the studio. Luhan did not book him more than five clients today. It's a little bit odd as the manager/business partner compresses his schedule with an intention that even if he will not work on weekends, they still have enough profit for the week.

"Yifan asked me to let you off early." Luhan says with a malicious grin on his face. Even for his age, there is still mirth on his eyes and he has not lost the playfulness in his attitude. Sometimes, it feels like they are still in college. Maybe this is the reason why his marriage with Minseok is still exciting. Luhan keeps their relationship youthful.

Yixing looks up from cleaning the lenses of his cameras. Renjun is sitting on a stool, watching Finding Dory while he waits for his father to finish. "Why?" Yixing inquires.

It is not Yifan's nature to disturb him from his work. As a workaholic himself, Yifan respects Yixing's job and his business partner. The studio is practically a family business (Yifan has stakes in it too) run by friends and as much as possible, when it is not that important, he will not demand for a schedule that will interrupt his husband from his profession.

Luhan just shrugs and tells Yixing that the lawyer will drop by around six in the evening before sending a lewd wink at him. He is thankful that Renjun is too immersed in what he is watching to see what his uncle just did.

Right when Yixing has finished packing all of his equipment and made sure that his station is clean and organized again, Luhan comes in the studio to tell him that Yifan has arrived. He hears Renjun shouting for his daddy and when Yixing gets in the reception area, his three boys are already there waiting for him. Shixun has changed his clothes from his basketball practice jersey. Yifan is still in his suit while he carries their youngest son in his arms.

"All set?" Yifan asks.

"Have fun, guys!!!!" Luhan exclaims, clapping his hands before he puts them under his chin and flashes a wide smile at the family.

Yixing only shakes his head and ushers his family members to the car. It is still relatively bright outside, too early for dinner so Yixing is not sure where Yifan will take them.

Yifan parks the car in a movie theater in the town center. It's been awhile since they all watched a film in the cinemas as the kids prefer to see it in the comfort of their home theater and because their parents have conflicting schedules most of the time. Renjun shouts in excitement when he sees the poster of Zootopia. Shixun runs after his brother to look at other titles that are showing.

"Baba! Let us watch Zootopia!! Please!!" Renjun calls for Yixing from yards away while he tugs at his older brother's shorts.

Yixing looks at his husband, waiting for his approval. Yixing is fine with anything as long as the kids will enjoy it. Shixun does not see anything appealing to him so he agrees on what Renjuns wants. Yifan pats Renjun's head when the kids are back to where they are standing, smiling affectionately at the kid.

"Wait here, Daddy will just buy tickets." Yifan says then treads to the ticket booth.

While waiting, Yixing takes the kids to the snack bar. They are not allowed to have too much as they will have dinner after the show. Shixun only orders nachos while Renjun gets his favorite cheese-flavored popcorn. Yixing knows Yifan is not big on chips so he gets him a sandwich. Yixing does not order anything for himself as he is sure Renjun won't finish his food.

As expected, the kids loved the movie. The younger of the two won't stop talking about Nick that they end up buying him a plush toy available right outside the theater. The child bounces in glee while he keeps the toy in his arms on the way back to the car.

Yifan takes them to a Korean place a few blocks away for dinner. It is not something new to Yixing, they've been there before, many years ago. They did not change a lot. The wooden tables and chairs remained the same. The old lady who always gave them extra banchan is still by the counter, her hair greyer and skin more wrinkled but the warm smile that greets them when they enter is still there.

Yixing is not sure if the lady still remembers them, their loyal customers from way back, like how he remembers the place by heart as it is the place where Yifan, out of the blue, told him that he wants to marry him and build a family with him. Yifan was still in law school that time and Yixing was starting as a freelance photographer. There was no ring or grand proposal that happened. Yifan just casually told him in the middle of swallowing his pork barbecue wrapped in lettuce that he was tired of having the same routine. He was tired of studying. He wanted to change their living conditions. He wanted more motivation.

“Maybe having a family with you will make me work harder.” Yifan had uttered so casually that Yixing thought he was just joking. “Let’s get married, Xing.”

“What?” Yixing had almost spit out the japchae he was chewing, coughing a little.

“Let’s get married. I promise I will be a lawyer soon. For you. For us.”

A year later, after Yifan went to Changsha with Yixing to meet his parents and when Yifan’s mother finally agreed even though she was hesitant because Yifan was still in school, they held a simple ceremony in a small garden with only their family and closest friends.

The photographer is taken out of his own little reminiscing session when the food is being served one by one and when Renjun asks if he could grill the pork on his own. Yixing does not allow him near hot objects especially in the kitchen because the kid is a bit clumsy (a trait he got from his other father). However, Yifan tells him it is okay as long as he will be careful and let daddy do it first.

While Yixing is occupied with making sure is Renjun is eating and not just grilling them meat, Yifan sees to it that his plate has ample food in it. It is a bit hard to make the little one focus on eating when he sees other things more interesting so it’s Yixing’s job to put food in his mouth.

“Let baba eat, Renjun.” Yifan says, getting the thong from the child as he puts of the fire for the meantime. Renjun pouts but he knows he should follow orders when they are on the table. “And finish your food. You won’t be getting ice cream later if you have leftovers.”

Perhaps Yifan is doing what Huang Lei has told them during their latest session. They talked about their family and what the kids mean to them. Even though their relationship has been on the rocks for the past two years, they never failed to be the best parents they can be to their two sons. Their needs still come first. However, since it was Shixun who has noticed the change in his parent’s dynamics, the kids also have to feel that they are still a family; that their parents are still together not just because they have to, but because there is love between them.

“This marriage is not just about the two of you. Your two sons are also involved.” Huang Lei had said.

He suggested that for that week, they should try doing something with the kids. A simple day out will do to have a little bonding activity with them and to show them that they are working things out. It’s primarily for Shixun because the teenager notices everything and he is the first one who got affected with the fall out. It’s to assure him that he still has both of his parents.

The family arrives in the house an hour and a half later. The kids are already beat and sleepy after the long day. Shixun says his good night then retreats in his room immediately. He and Zitao together with some of their classmates will be going camping tomorrow until Sunday which reminds Yixing that he has to prepare some of the things his son needs for the trip.

“Good night, little man.” Yixing tells his son who is already in bed and playing with his phone after he turns of the light in the room.

Shixun puts down his phone for a while. “Baba, you and daddy are not separating?” He says before Yixing closes the door.

Yixing heaves a sigh, re-entering the room and sits on the side of his son’s bed. He runs his fingers on the child’s soft locks. Although Shixun is adopted, he resembles Yifan a lot in both physical and personality aspect.

“No, we won’t.” Yixing assures.

“You still love each other?”

“Yes, we do. And we love you, too. You and your brother.”

“I love you, too, baba. I love you and daddy. I don’t want you to separate.” Usually at this age, kids are afraid to flaunt their affection towards their parents and Shixun is not different from most kids. He is also not that comfortable displaying his feelings. Yixing has to extract information from him when something is troubling him. If he can, he will keep everything to himself to not make his parents worry. Unfortunately, it is one of the traits he got from Yixing. But right now, Yixing is thankful that Shixun is talking and letting him know how he feels.

“I promise we won’t.” Yixing says, kissing his son’s forehead before he leaves the room.

Yixing cleans Renjun next and then tucks him to bed. The four year-old is a little grumpy while brushing his teeth because he was already sleeping in the car on their way home. He only calms down when Yixing puts his new toy Nick with him on the bed.

He is about to take a shower when Yifan appears in the hallway already in his pajamas. He is carrying a bag of chips and two cans of beer from the fridge.

“I am gonna watch a game. You want to join?” He asks. It is his habit to catch up basketball games played on weekdays during the weekends, when he has more time in his hand.

Yixing nods. “I am just gonna take a shower.”

The game is already starting when Yixing enters their bedroom. A Golden State game is on and Yifan is sitting on their bed, bag of chips on his stomach and an open can of beer on his bedside table. Yixing sits on his side, a towel wrapped around his neck. He is not that a fan of basketball, or any sports at all, but he has learned about it because Yifan used to play when they were in college and it was his duty to support him. Watching NBA has been a part of his life when he started dating Yifan.

Yifan hands him a can and offers him some chips which Yixing gladly takes. He does not talk while watching. He cannot comment on anything because, just like everything he used to do with his husband, it’s been awhile since he did this with Yifan. He does not know the players anymore. He does not even know if what they are watching is a crucial game or it is just one of the typical season games. His husband is so focused on what they are watching to bother asking.

The younger dries his hair as the watch, rubbing his head using the towel around his neck. He excuses himself for a minute to get some of his nightly beauty products that are in Renjun’s room. When he comes back, there are more cans of beer on Yifan’s nightstand and the bag of chips has disappeared. He settles back on his side and finishes the can he left a minute ago.

“Thank you for today.” Yixing says, taking another can from Yifan. Since they are already in the same room for the first time in forever doing the things they used to do, Yixing figures it is only proper to set the mood by acknowledging his husband’s efforts. Yixing is more than happy to see that the kids had a good time in spite of the simplicity of the activity.

“It’s nothing. I want Shixun and Renjun to have fun.” Yifan says. He stares at Yixing with his piercing gaze, eyes scanning Yixing from his lips to his neck to his bare chest that is showing because of the low neckline of his shirt. “I also had a great time with you.”

Yixing feels exposed and a little bit defiled. Yifan can be extremely insatiable when he wants to or when he can’t help it. It is the side of him the can only be triggered by Yixing. It must be his shampoo. It must be his cologne. It must be his thin shirt that hides nothing of Yixing’s torso.

It could also be the perfect timing.

“Xing, come here.” Yifan calls, pulling him to side as he wraps his arm around his torso and leans his head on top of his. Yixing should not be feeling nervous like it is his first time being close to Yifan like this but he does. Feeling his husband’s warmth has become a foreign sensation to him over the last two years. At times like this, he realizes how much he misses Yifan so much. How much time they wasted apart when they could have had this all the time.

He feels Yifan’s breath on his neck during the half time period, sending powerful shivers down Yixing’s spine. Yifan is not stopping even if he is aware that it is Yixing’s sensitive spot. Instead, he continues by pulling him closer and kissing the skin gently. It is fine with Yixing. He could take it. However, when Yifan starts licking and biting, he almost loses his mind.

It is unfair how Yifan takes his sanity so easily like this. One day, they are fighting and ignoring each other. And then the next, he makes him crave for his touches. People often say Yifan is the one under his control, the one who is whipped in this relationship. They do not know that Yixing is the one who cannot say no to everything about Yifan. His touches, his kisses, his tenderness, his loving. Yixing is at his mercy every single time. Yixing would kill just to have another taste of Yifan’s delectable lips.

Yixing does not hold back anymore as he dives in and claims the lips he has owned for more than a decade. He devours them, forcefully pushed his tongue inside Yifan’s mouth as he presses him on his back to lie on top of him. He straddles Yifan’s waist, taking command of their movements, being bold for the first time in months because he really wants this. Yifan shows his enthusiasm by giving his buttocks a squeeze using his enormous hands which made him gasp.

“I miss you so much.” Yixing murmurs on his husband’s lips. Yifan’s hands are still on his behind as he grinds up to meet his hard on as if to mock his cravings for him. He is so turned on, lust taking over his senses. He wants Yifan so so bad.

Yifan bites his lower lip and licks his chin. “You do not know how much I miss you more every single day.”

Yixing thinks that is the only thing he needs and wants to hear right now. This is what they are waiting for. No more hesitations. No more doubting. They are still far from perfect, far from the way they used to but he firmly believes that they are doing a good job. He feels it, he has faith that he is not the only one who wants this to work. Yifan tells him, promises him he will make it work.

And then the game on TV goes on forgotten.

Finally, they can have it.

Date: 2016-09-17 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shade-of-kim.livejournal.com
This is so good! I almost cried in relief to see that they're finally gonna be okay. Also, the part where Yifan confessed to almost cheat on Yixing kinda broke my heart but the way Yixing took the news in stride and Yifan really regreting it was such a realistic scene and so crucial in this whole process. I feel like from there, they can renew their faith in each other and learn to fully trust again.

Again, this is such good solid Fanxing story. Thank you for writing this (T_T)

Date: 2016-09-25 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cwtchbuddy.livejournal.com
I seriously don't know what else to say other than THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL;-; I seriously thought that I'd be crying because of the angst but it was so equally distributed with the cute domesticity and the patching up of their relationship that I was able to go through the story without feeling like my heart was going to break. Thought I still felt a bit teary-eyed from the part where Yifan talked about that time he almost cheated >_< Everything was so realistic; about how relationships sometimes have fall outs over the smallest of things that grow bigger and bigger, the results that come about because of them – both good and bad – and what people do to try to salvage what they have. The emotions are so well conveyed too. And I love that. I love it so much I need to pause to cry. Brb.

And omg *squeals* Shixun as their son, of course*^^*

Maine, I never once doubted your writing and I'm so glad that you wrote this. This was so so so beautiful and I'm sure a lot of people will be able to relate to this, not only because this is what happens in relationships that have been together for a long time but because you also wrote in a very relatable manner. I will never stop hoping that you will come back to writing fanxing, I don't care if it takes a while, this fandom will always need you^^ I will be patient :p Again, I love this, I love you! I can't wait to read more of your writing again :>

PS I knew you took this prompt the moment you told me you're writing for a fest again XD And I'm so glad you didn't break my heart too much with this. :>

PPS Why does this not have more comments????
Edited Date: 2016-09-25 11:52 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-09-29 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] henshuai ge (from livejournal.com)
I should finish reading for my assignment but here I am looking for your fic with Shixun and Renjun as fanxing's sons! xD

It's been a long time since I read a fanxing fic till the end, your pace is nice to follow, it's very you x) Aaaand I love how Renjun is in this fic; finally someone who inherited his good looks and treats from Yixing. hahahha

This kind of theme usually disheartens me and makes me frowning while reading, but I'm glad that in the end fanxing work it out. :) Be a good husbands and parents you two~ bless!

Profile

exohousewarming: (Default)
exohousewarming

June 2017

S M T W T F S
     123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 20th, 2017 08:47 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios